Thursday, March 26, 2015

Joy On The Rutland Nature Trail - Part 2

The dogs and I had hiked only as far as the bridge and then turned around and began heading back to our car (see Part 1, yesterday):

By now the excessive running had slowed down and the side excursions to sniff for wildlife had begun. Fergus and Clover sped down a bank into the forest to explore:

Jack, who apparently considers himself a hunting dog, wanted to follow them but was restrained by the leash. That, of course, is exactly why he was on a leash:

We continued on our way. The trail, being an old railroad bed, was flat and straight:

And everyone was happy. Little Daphne had a big smile on her face:

There was more exploring off the trail, down the banks and into the forest - wherever they could smell some animal had been. But they didn't go far:

By this time, Jack had come to understand some basic rules, like keeping reasonably near me and coming when called. He's a fast learner:

Getting their second wind, Clover and Fergus began running again - not always in the same direction. They just love to run:

The moment the dogs spotted the road and our car ahead of them, they got excited and wanted to run all the way to it. I had to holler, "Stop!" quite a few times, but they obeyed:

True happiness:

Even Seamus was smiling, though it's a little more difficult to see his smile, buried beneath all that black wool. He went to the groomer the very next day:

We stopped again at the dead calf for a sniff, and then I had the dogs heel the rest of the way to the car. This had not been much of an outing, but it was fun and a sign of better weather just around the corner:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Joy On The Rutland Nature Trail - Part 1

We had a sudden and surprising "warm" day, so I loaded the dogs into the car and headed for the nearby Rutland Nature Trail. The dogs were ecstatic and even Seamus was running!:

Jack had been so well behaved that I brought him along. But before we even got to the car, he began chasing the chickens and refusing to come when called. I decided to take him anyway, but put him on an expandable leash:

We'd barely begun when we came upon what I assumed was a dead deer. But on closer inspection, it turned out to be a Holstein calf. I never did figure out how it got there:

Jack was fascinated. In fact, he turned out to be a real sniffer, determined to follow every interesting scent along the trail. I was glad I had him on a leash and cancelled any impulse I might have had to let him off it:

But mostly, this was simply a day for great joy. The dogs ran and wrestled. You can see Clover ambushing Daphne as she ran by:

They ran ahead, I called them, they ran back:

Seamus quickly wore himself out and quit running, but Daphne continued to run, smiling all the while:

Great fun:

Even this crabby old codger was happy:

I could see the bridge up ahead and apparently, so could the dogs. They accelerated and I had to holler at them to keep them from going too far ahead:

We crossed the bridge:

The little brook beneath the bridge was lovely and peaceful. But this was just a brief excursion, a chance for the pooches to run and play, so we turned around here and began heading back to the car. I'll post Part 2 tomorrow:

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Pets At Home In March

Winter has been stubborn. Having broken all records for cold, it has resisted leaving us, even this far into March:

The new dog, Jack, has made himself at home and gets along well with the other animals. He still lifts his leg on things from time to time, but I'm working on that. And he still quickly becomes fearful over nearly anything. But most of the time, he's a happy, contented pooch:

Fergus, Clover and Daphne shared a floor pillow in the kitchen:

And the Silly Sisters, Daphne and Clover, enjoyed playing in the snow:

They eschew the kitchen floor pillows and form a dog pile closer to me when I'm at the computer. Jack uses the dog bed under my computer desk:

To combat Jack's leg lifting, I have taken to letting them outside as often as every fifteen minutes, whenever I walk into the kitchen. I don't leave them out for long, but I want Jack to establish new behavior patterns. It seems to be working and if I neglect to do it, I have some cleaning up to do:

Draco, feeling happy and content, was rolling ecstatically atop the dog food bin:

A typical dog pile next to the computer, this one with Bramble:

And three healthy, happy pets - Clover, Bramble and Daphne:

Jack and Daphne:

And Bramble, looking inscrutable:

Lastly, a photo of Daphne, smart enough to know where to keep her belly warm on a cold morning: